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Bacon, Egg & Asparagus


This is an impressive pre starter, combining some wonderful flavours with vibrant colours.

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Rate this recipe 3.3/5 (126 Votes)


  • 2 quail’s eggs
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus (about 250g)
  • 1 banana shallot or small onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 rashers pancetta
  • 350 ml chicken stock (see Basics)
  • 25ml double cream
  • 15 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


servings 4
Level of difficulty Difficult
Preparation time 30mins
Cooking time 30mins
Cost Average budget


Step 1

1 Pre heat the oven to 190ᵒC, Gas mark 5

2 Trim the pancetta into neat rectangles, about 8cm x 2 cm.

3 Reserve 4 small asparagus spears to garnish. Chop the rest, set aside

4 Add the butter and oil to a small pan with the celery and shallot or onion. Season and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, keeping the vegetables moving. Add the chopped asparagus and thyme leaves, continue to cook on a medium heat until the asparagus is tender. Cover with the stock and poach for 5 minutes

5 Tip the vegetables into a blender with a small amount of stock and blitz. Check the consistency, you want it to be quite thick. Press through a sieve and add a small amount of cream, keeping the consistency to a decent thickness. Check the seasoning and keep warm

6 Place the pancetta strips between a folded sheet of baking parchment and weigh down with a light tray to keep flat. Cook near the top of the oven for 8 minutes, cool and remove from the parchment

7 Bring some water to the boil in a small pan and boil the quail’s eggs for exactly 2½ minutes. Drop in the reserved asparagus spears for the last 30 seconds. Remove everything and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Carefully peel the eggs and cut in half, season with a pinch of sea salt

8 To serve, work quickly taking 4 warmed egg cups and spoon in the asparagus veloute, nearly to the top. Slide a strip of pancetta down the side and place the soft boiled egg in front. Garnish with the reserved asparagus tips. Serve

Make sure your iced water is to hand to maintain the brilliant green of the asparagus and prevent the eggs from overcooking.

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